OSHA violations filed against SC employer of man killed in bucket truck

GREAT FALLS, S.C. — Two years after a local man died while working for a South Carolina town, we’re learning about serious violations filed against his employer.

Gregory Tyson was a sanitation worker with the Town of Great Falls. He died on Jan. 7, 2022 during an accident with a bucket truck.

Now, Channel 9′s Tina Terry has learned about Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards that were violated in the incident. Family members are hoping the ongoing investigation leads to change.

“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about this and what happened to him, and wishing that I could have one more day with him,” said the victim’s daughter, Sydney Tyson.

Her father was in a bucket truck 20 feet in the air, removing Christmas decorations in downtown Great Falls. Officials said he was wearing a harness and lanyard. His supervisor was driving the truck and, according to the OSHA report, the bucket started to rise.

The report says as the van passed under a tree, Tyson “...ducked down barely missing the branch, but the branch came in contact with the bucket. The rear portion of the bucket shattered, and [Tyson] fell out of the bucket onto the grass on the shoulder of the road.”

OSHA gave the Town of Great Falls four citations for serious violations connected to training requirements and the vehicle. They also fined them $1,155.

“At the end of the day, it’s really just a dollar amount,” Sydney Tyson said. “They have to pay for the loss of my dad’s life, basically, and it’s not even a substantial amount.”

Via email Thursday, Great Falls Mayor Josh Brantley, who was not mayor during that incident, said the town no longer uses a bucket truck to perform daily job duties. He said if they do need a bucket truck, they call the county in to do the job.

Brantley said before the town implements another bucket truck, leaders will ensure proper training has taken place.

Sydney is still awaiting OSHA’s final report and hopes the investigation will prevent others from enduring what she has.

“I do hope that they take my dad’s life loss as a hard lesson,” she said.

The mayor said that supervisor who was driving the truck was released from his position after the incident.

Terry learned OSHA plans to conduct a follow-up inspection to confirm that corrective action was completed. Once that is done, the case will be closed and a report will be made available.

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